Posted by: Justin Taylor21 September 2011
I am currently standing in the C&W stand kitchen writing this it’s the only spare and quiet space on the stand!
Day two at BCSC has been busy everywhere, particularly on our stand during the wagamama feeding frenzy! All jokes aside we must thank wagamama for a superb effort at lunchtime today cooking food for over 300 people and spreading the word about the requirements for their ‘aggressive’ expansion over the next few years.
In the main conference, David Smith of the Sunday Times kicked off with a balanced view of the economy which was reinforced by Sir Richard Lambert (ex-CBI chief) who called for more entrepeneureal zip!
Kensington and Chelsea Council Leader (also local government chief) referred to the zip his council was putting into a new Exhibition Road area through his ‘naked streets’. Roger Madelin robustly rounded off the day suggesting that sex, from mixing cultures, occupations and uses, was the clear foundation for Kings Cross mixed-use development
All of the panel sessions were fully booked, with Next making themselves famous within the conference for their positivity regarding the market. It’s been highly refreshing to hear no mention of the double dip, people are clearly seeing a more upbeat outlook and are keen to get on and do business.
A great example of this is House of Fraser who impressed in their presentation with talk of their ‘affordable luxury’ offer, expansion into the Middle East, store refurbishments and their new UK offer ‘Buy and Collect’.
The first buy and collect store is opening in Aberdeen in three weeks and we’re working hard with them on the second store opening (location to follow). The freestanding stores will offer changing rooms and collection points, we can’t wait to give them a try!
In the exhibition hall it’s been very evident that the supermarkets are out in force this year with a lot of chat about Morrisons’ and Asda’s expansion plans. There is no question many developers are refreshing new and old development projects and out market testing occupational demand. Even if a small amount of this moves forward we can look forward to a leasing frenzy at BCSC in 2015.
Quality stands from Land Securities, CSC and Hammerson showcase the product, both existing assets and pipeline. All the principal UK multiple retailers are here, happy to talk shop. All in all, a good buzz around the place.
Everyone is gearing up for a big evening of drinks, dinner and networking.